Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Can't Take it With Me

Closet cleaning this weekend brought me face to face with a harsh reality--I have too much stuff, I need to downsize, and I can't take it with me when I go.

The good news is that I won't need it--but right now I still feel the need to surround myself with things that represent the trophies I have accumulated during my live.

But there a just some things that I don't need to hang on to--like the tee shirt from someplace that I visited that I never intend to return to.

And there is the five year rule--a corollary to the one year rule, that says if it hasn't been touched in five years then I probably don't need it. I have stuff that hasn't been touched since we moved in twelve years ago--I wonder if that qualifies. Yet, like the big game hunters of last century, it is hard to part with the trophies of expeditions past. Surrounding myself with stuff helps provide a sense of security. I'm not sure what the stuff is protecting me from--but it does make me feel better.

I have a lot of stuff related to hobbies I've done in the past. Fortunately, one of them helped me accumulate a number of tools which I still use to complete projects around the house. But as for being a clock repairer/restorer, I'm not sure that I will return to that hobby anytime soon. Maybe I need to sell some of the numerous clocks that I have to help with the downsizing. There is something wrong when the under bed storage spaces are filled with clocks which have not been running in, let's say conservatively, twelve years. There just isn't anymore room on the walls--and I already decorate with clocks.

So, as the cleaning continues--or moves to the really serious spaces crammed with stuff like the attic--some difficult decisions are going to be made.

Fortunately--probably not until another rainy Saturday and maybe not even then. Just because I don't need it and can't take it with me doesn't mean I have to get rid of it now!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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